Living in Costa Rica Pros and Cons List

The Republic of Costa Rica, which is situated in Central America, between Nicaragua and Panama, offers access to the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Although the region often experiences some political instability, Costa Rica is known for having a very stable government. It is also the only country in the world to meet all five criteria for environmental sustainability and hasn’t had a standing army since 1949.

Living in Costa Rica can offer many benefits. There are also certain disadvantages that you’ll want to consider. Here is a look at the pros and cons of living in Costa Rica.

List of the Pros of Living in Costa Rica

1. Costa Rica likes to practice political neutrality.
This country is one of the few in the region which offers a strong system of governing checks and balances. After the completion of their last war in 1949, the country decided that they didn’t want to go back to war ever again. That led them toward a commitment to peace and prosperity while maintaining true neutrality on the global stage.

2. It doesn’t cost much to live in Costa Rica.
Even in the coastal areas of the country, you’ll find that there are homes available for less than $100,000. If you want to live in the city, you’ll find spacious apartments are available for less than $1,000 per month. Even the immigration requirements published by the government suggest that you’ll only need about $2,000 per month to take care of all your monthly living expenses.

3. Retirees can immigrate very easily to the country.
If you have a pension or are retired and receive a guaranteed benefit or payment, then the immigration process to residency is very easy. You’ll need to have about $600 to $1,000 per month in monthly payments to qualify. Then, over the next 24 months, you’ll need to provide your birth certificate, marriage certificate, and have all your documents translated into Spanish. Once authenticated by the consulate, you’re ready to be a full-time citizen.

4. The healthcare system in Costa Rica is fantastic.
The healthcare system in the country is ranked higher than what is available in the United States. Universal care is provided within the country at prices that are far more affordable than what you’ll find in most other places around the world.

5. Visas may not be required to start your journey.
If you are a citizen of the United States, then you don’t need a visa to enter the country. You only need to have a valid U.S. passport, which is good for at least 6 months after your trip. Then show a plane ticket to leave the country and you’re good to go. You can enter this way for 90 days. Numerous countries besides the U.S. qualify for this benefit as well.

List of the Cons of Living in Costa Rica

1. You will have insect problems there – guaranteed.
There are plenty of mosquitoes to be found in Costa Rica, thanks to its warm and humid climate. You will find ants are everywhere, and they like to bite. Termites and cockroaches are common home invaders. To reduce pest issues, you must have a clean kitchen and practice secure food storage techniques.

2. The rainy season has many definitions in Costa Rica.
Where you live in Costa Rica will help to dictate what type of rainy season you’ll be asked to endure from May to November each year. The Caribbean side gets more rain than the Pacific side. The central valleys tend to get less precipitation than the coasts. You might encounter a pleasant shower in the afternoon or a downpour that goes on for several days without relief.

3. There can be infrastructure issues in the urban areas.
When you have a lot of rain, then you create a lot of mud. That can lead to infrastructure failures which can make life difficult sometimes, especially if a power outage continues on for several days. When there is a lack of sunshine during the rainy season, mold likes to grow on everything. You will need to be proactive about keeping your home dry to prevent these issues.

4. Not everyone qualifies for an easy immigration process.
Costa Rica is designed to be more of a retirement destination than a place for family immigration. Unless you have a substantial portfolio of investments to draw upon, or your plans involve opening an approved business in the country, then there is a good chance that your application for residency is going to be denied.

Living in Costa Rica offers numerous pros and cons to consider. Take a look at each key point to see if this beautiful country is the right place to spend your future.